Author Topic: Stars Beyond Reach: What we're working on, plus spotlight on the Zenith aliens.  (Read 10314 times)

Offline Histidine

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Cool, more lore!

7. The Zenith themselves have some smaller animals that resemble them in many ways, but which have a shorter lifespan. But it's not a master-slave relationship, or even a servant-master relationship. Think of your relationship to the bacteria in your gut, or the microbes on your skin. You're not on similar mental planes at all, and you don't really think about them, even though they are vital to your survival.
Until some foreign bug moves in and starts doing things that get classified as "infections."

"It appears you have a bad case of Homo sapiens. Would you like an anthropocide prescription?" :P

Oh: it's worth noting that the Spire and the Zenith being described as "living spaceships," while technically correct, is kind of misleading.  That's how AI War always referred to them, but really a living spaceship is just a living being that is able to travel through space.  That describes all three of the AI War alien races, really.  My point is that these guys are able to live in an atmosphere or in a vacuum equally well, and they are able to fly with enough strength to reach escape velocity -- normally.  On the planet of SBR, nobody can reach escape velocity... usually.
Hmm, is this just a high-G planet, or does the planetmind step in to mess up people's attempts at spaceflight?

Offline Aklyon

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Oh: it's worth noting that the Spire and the Zenith being described as "living spaceships," while technically correct, is kind of misleading.  That's how AI War always referred to them, but really a living spaceship is just a living being that is able to travel through space.  That describes all three of the AI War alien races, really.  My point is that these guys are able to live in an atmosphere or in a vacuum equally well, and they are able to fly with enough strength to reach escape velocity -- normally.  On the planet of SBR, nobody can reach escape velocity... usually.
Hmm, is this just a high-G planet, or does the planetmind step in to mess up people's attempts at spaceflight?
Or perhaps the planetmind is secretly a giant hydral? :P

Offline Captain Jack

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Hmm, is this just a high-G planet, or does the planetmind step in to mess up people's attempts at spaceflight?
I was under the impression that the planetmind was being blockaded. I mean, one of the other victory conditions is blowing up the planet, which suggests there's a reason you'd want to do such a thing...

Offline x4000

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In terms of why nothing leaves the planet, I'll say that it's not for lack of technology, that's for sure.

"It appears you have a bad case of Homo sapiens. Would you like an anthropocide prescription?" :P

This is going in the game in some fashion. :D  Awesome. :)
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Offline Zebeast46

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Checked the spreadsheet and saw that a friendly Peltian leader named Arru likes to steal money. That and the fact that their strength is 0/1/0 I am not so sure anymore if they would be valuable allies.  :)
AI 1 = Chris.

AI 2 = Keith.

Taken from Bognor

Offline Aeson

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Checked the spreadsheet and saw that a friendly Peltian leader named Arru likes to steal money. That and the fact that their strength is 0/1/0 I am not so sure anymore if they would be valuable allies.  :)
That really depends on whose money they like to steal, doesn't it? And how much trouble the thefts cause.

Quote
In AI War, the Zenith have always been described as a long-dead civilization, and I didn't want to suddenly retcon that.  I really like that idea of them, and I didn't want to suddenly go "oh no, actually the force has been midichlorians (sp?) this whole time."  I hate that.  But a lot of sci-fi books that I've really enjoyed have had "lost" bits of humanity that we encounter after millennia (or more) apart from them.  For me, this was an acceptable lore compromise, because I wanted to do more with the Zenith -- without destroying the AI War storyline.
For what it's worth, I tend to find it annoying when works of science fiction or fantasy equate "long-dead civilization" with "long-dead species," along with the whole "one species, one culture/civilization" thing. The civilization that built the Egyptian pyramids has been dead for quite some time, and the same is true of many of its contemporaries and successors. The species that built the Egyptian pyramids, though? Not so much. (I understand why these are conflated. Expecting to see distinct cultures within each species in a set of fictitious species can be a bit much.)

Besides which, we (probably) already knew, or at least suspected, that the Zenith survived as a species. There are the Miners, Devourers, Dyson, and Traders from the Zenith Remnant, and there are the various Zenith factions in Ancient Shadows; while I don't recall it being explicitly stated that these are not just golems and other Zenith technology that some other species has reactivated or repurposed, that isn't what I thought them to be. The branch of the Zenith which created the highly destructive golems may be long dead (or nearly so; the Miners, Devourers, Dyson, and Traders seem to me likely to be a remnant of that civilization), but other branches of the species clearly remain. As long as the civilization of the golem-Zenith remains dead, or nearly so, the lore of AI War is in my opinion effectively untouched.

Incidentally, does this mean that the Dyson Sphere is a particularly ancient Zenith (or collective of Zenith, if each band is a separate entity), grown large enough to encompass a star?

Offline Draco18s

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In terms of why nothing leaves the planet, I'll say that it's not for lack of technology, that's for sure.

"It appears you have a bad case of Homo sapiens. Would you like an anthropocide prescription?" :P

This is going in the game in some fashion. :D  Awesome. :)

It is by no means a unique view of the human race, it's come up at least twice on 365 Tomorrows (not to mention other Science Fiction), but a few more references to such would be lovely.  It's always humorous when our race is seen as a parasitic lifeform at best, rapidly evolving and mutating and if not quarantined we'll take over the whole galaxy.

(Speaking of quarantines, the book I'm listening to right now, The Dreaming Void, had a race that was quarantined because they were quite literally pathologically hostile to all biological life except their own.  So their home system and the one other star system they managed to colonize were encased in giant force fields, colloquially referred to as "They Dyson Pair").

Offline Captain Jack

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It's always humorous when our race is seen as a parasitic lifeform at best, rapidly evolving and mutating and if not quarantined we'll take over the whole galaxy.
Sounds like pregnancy to me  :D

Joking aside though, it really does sound like the player race has a bad case of humanity, given that all but a fraction of their racial tech and culture is gone. Really looking forward to seeing how that came about.

Offline x4000

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Checked the spreadsheet and saw that a friendly Peltian leader named Arru likes to steal money. That and the fact that their strength is 0/1/0 I am not so sure anymore if they would be valuable allies.  :)

Haha.  The actual combat stats for the race as a whole are in a different spreadsheet, and the thieving thing is defining which sort of diplomatic deals are available -- he'll steal money on your behalf, whereas the others of his race won't.  I'm not sure if I'm going to keep that or not, but that's what that means. :)

For what it's worth, I tend to find it annoying when works of science fiction or fantasy equate "long-dead civilization" with "long-dead species," along with the whole "one species, one culture/civilization" thing. The civilization that built the Egyptian pyramids has been dead for quite some time, and the same is true of many of its contemporaries and successors. The species that built the Egyptian pyramids, though? Not so much. (I understand why these are conflated. Expecting to see distinct cultures within each species in a set of fictitious species can be a bit much.)

Yep, I agree.  That's something that bothers me mildly, too.  I understand it for practical purposes, but the idea of other species as being monolithic is kind of ludicrous.  That's part of what I've been trying to do with having 3 leaders for each race in SBR, is make the character of the race actually change some with the leader, despite the fact that their general nature is the same.

And with Valley 2, it's part of why I said "okay, let's set this in a different part of the same world, but make this have completely different problems and mechanics compared to Valley 1."

Actually it's a big part of why I wanted to reuse races from AI War and TLF in SBR, anyway -- despite the fact that it's nice to see familiar faces again and build up more lore.  Since a lot of people already know who the Burlusts are, I don't have to present them so monolithically for them to be understandable.  Trying to remember what one version of a race is like is bad enough, let alone 3 sub-factions, if it's the first time you've met them.

Besides which, we (probably) already knew, or at least suspected, that the Zenith survived as a species. There are the Miners, Devourers, Dyson, and Traders from the Zenith Remnant, and there are the various Zenith factions in Ancient Shadows; while I don't recall it being explicitly stated that these are not just golems and other Zenith technology that some other species has reactivated or repurposed, that isn't what I thought them to be. The branch of the Zenith which created the highly destructive golems may be long dead (or nearly so; the Miners, Devourers, Dyson, and Traders seem to me likely to be a remnant of that civilization), but other branches of the species clearly remain. As long as the civilization of the golem-Zenith remains dead, or nearly so, the lore of AI War is in my opinion effectively untouched.

True.  I always viewed the former of those a lot like Unicron -- kind of singular entities that would travel through the cosmos.  For good or for ill.  They don't really indicate the status of their overall species, aside from saying that these particular entities have survived and continued to grow over the years.  The more minor factions from Ancient Shadows were another pocket of smaller guys that were actually alive and indicated actual civilization, yeah.

Incidentally, does this mean that the Dyson Sphere is a particularly ancient Zenith (or collective of Zenith, if each band is a separate entity), grown large enough to encompass a star?

I've always seen the dyson golem as being one big Zenith that is super ancient, yes.  The dyson gatlings are basically a good example of the little "helper creatures" that are alive but not super smart.  They aren't Zenith per se, but they service the Zenith and live on and around them.  The utter scale of the dyson golem is such that even its "tiny little guys that live on it" are very large by human standards. :)

It is by no means a unique view of the human race, it's come up at least twice on 365 Tomorrows (not to mention other Science Fiction), but a few more references to such would be lovely.  It's always humorous when our race is seen as a parasitic lifeform at best, rapidly evolving and mutating and if not quarantined we'll take over the whole galaxy.

(Speaking of quarantines, the book I'm listening to right now, The Dreaming Void, had a race that was quarantined because they were quite literally pathologically hostile to all biological life except their own.  So their home system and the one other star system they managed to colonize were encased in giant force fields, colloquially referred to as "They Dyson Pair").

Oh yeah, even The Matrix basically looks at that idea, as well as a few other things that I have read but can't think of right now.  Thanks for the book links, by the way. :)

Joking aside though, it really does sound like the player race has a bad case of humanity, given that all but a fraction of their racial tech and culture is gone. Really looking forward to seeing how that came about.

Yep, precisely.  The video that basically gives the backstory to that should be ready next week, I think.  I don't want to build up expectations too much, but I think it's hilarious, personally -- while being realistically sci-fi.
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